Nowadays, firms can expect some form of value-destroying corporate crisis at least twice a decade. And even those numbers might be too optimistic. In fact, a 2018 Forrester survey found that a full 100 percent of companies experienced a critical event in the last two years. Many dealt with multiple.
In and of themselves, the financial costs of these critical events – hundreds of billions in lost value, tens of billions in losses, fines, and penalties – underscore the need for adopting corporate crisis management technologies to help teams and senior stakeholders increase organizational resilience in the face of the unexpected. But what precise capabilities will your team need to manage every stage of the incident management lifecycle?
Well, advanced crisis management software can give response teams and decision makers the tools they need to know what’s happening, collaborate quickly and effectively, make better decisions, and enact the right plans to take action when it counts the most. But not all solutions are created equal. Looking to find the solution that works for you? Here are the essential crisis management features you’ll need to manage any kind of critical event:
- Single, flexible system. Your corporate crisis management solution should be able to maximally boost situational awareness, by providing teams and stakeholders with a single, integrated system capable of tackling critical events in real time. That flexible system should also include chat, impact, assessment, and communication planning functionality that enables you to provide updates and alerts to employees, increasing their situational awareness during a crisis. Having a single source of truth (complete with important documents, releases, and other critical files) at your fingertips not only helps de-escalate critical issues before they become crises, but also improves decision making during a crisis.
- Dedicated, event-specific chat. Situational awareness also depends on strong communication and collaboration. And that’s why crisis management software needs to let teams communicate and follow up within the app itself, preferably via dedicated, event-specific chat rooms, in addition to email, SMS, and app notifications. That way teams don’t need to download any more potentially unsecure, collaboration or chat software than they need to already.
- Effective task management. Your crisis management solution also needs to enable leaders to manage their teams more efficiently, by giving managers the ability to set up and activate crisis and incident management teams (including structures and roles). Once teams are up, running, and responding to high-impact events, technology should also help manage incident response tasks, log and share updates, decisions, facts, and assumptions, as well as produce situation reports and briefings.
- Data security and sovereignty. From emails to phone numbers to physical addresses, teams put a lot of sensitive user information in their crisis management system – data they can’t afford to have leaked or hacked. Choose a vendor with strong data security (secure encryptions using TLS v1.2, for instance) and integrity, observed in all key markets. More specifically, look for version tracking capability as well as the ability to provide you an audit trail. Flexible access policies can also control the data each user profile can see or edit.
- Best practice libraries. Teams can’t adequately respond to critical events without first activating tested, best practice plans and strategies. Nor can they appropriately recover from critical events without documenting and internalizing lessons learned. The solution, here, is crisis management software that provides best-practice libraries from which teams can easily create their own strategies and action plans, tailoring them to their specific needs – also, software that enables teams to conduct routine exercises to test their plans, so when events do occur, those plans come to life seamlessly.
Crises are growing in kind and intensity. Their costs are rising, too. And even the firms with the most advanced crisis management plans risk failure if supporting crisis management software isn’t agile or flexible enough to cope with a fast-moving critical event. After all, only the right technology can exponentially increase your level of preparedness and improve your ability to react to and recover from critical events.
But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself what crisis management software can do. Demo our own next-gen crisis management software solution, Noggin. Noggin's Crisis Management software solution gives you the tools you need to know what’s happening, collaborate quickly, make better decisions, and enact the right plans to take action when it counts most.